Clemson RB Ellington decides to return for senior year

Clemson running back Andre Ellington announced Tuesday night that he will return for his senior year.

Ellington was Clemson’s leading rusher in 2011 with 1178 yards, the eighth best single season figure in school history. He was a major reason Clemson finished with a 10-4 record, a No. 22 national ranking and the program’s first ACC Championship in 20 years.

Ellington ranks 10th in Clemson history in career rushing with 2,355 yards and need just 645 yards to become the fifth player in Clemson history with 3000 yards. He needs 1612 yards to break Raymond Priester’s career rushing record.

“Last year’s success has me excited to enter the 2012 season as a Clemson Tiger,” said Ellington. He reported to a team meeting Tuesday night and informed his teammates he was returning for the 2012 season.

Ellington averaged 90.6 yards per game this past season to rank fourth in the ACC. The second-team All-ACC running back was also sixth in the league in touchdowns scored and ninth in all-purpose running. He scored 11 touchdowns, all rushing and added 22 receptions for 109 yards.

Ellington finished the season strong with a 125-yard rushing effort in the 38-10 win over Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship game, then had 116 yards rushing in just 10 carries in the Orange Bowl against West Virginia. He finished the year with five games with at least 100 yards rushing, including a career high 212 in the victory at Maryland.

Ellington’s return will give the Tigers a returning 1000-yard rusher, a returning 1000-yard receiver and a returning 3000-yard passer for the first time in school history. Sammy Watkins led the Tigers in receiving last year with 1219 receiving yards. Quarterback Tajh Boyd threw for a school record 3828 yards this past season and had a school record 33 touchdown passes. Receiver DeAndre Hopkins returns as well after catching 72 passes for 978 yards.

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